Brooklyn Park officials say that Target is getting about $5 million in tax breaks to expand its Northern Campus, but some people say the company isn't doing enough to give back to the city that gave them that deal.
"We have one of the highest unemployment records in the state of Minnesota," said Denise Butler of the Northwest Community Coalition. "And something as huge as a multibillion corporation coming, we should be getting direct benefits, especially if they are getting residents' dollars."
Denise Butler is part of a group that's lobbying Target to play a more active role in the community as the Northern Campus continues to expand.
Some of the coalition members even addressed the Target CEO directly at a recent shareholders meeting in Denver.
The coalition says Target can assist with a number of things in Brooklyn Park, which include job creation, increased educational opportunities, and even playing a larger role with the development of the proposed Bottineau transit line.
"We're not looking for some transactional magic bullet number," said Joy Marsh Stephens, a coalition member representing the ISAIAH group. "It's not about, create X number of jobs, hire X number of Brooklyn Park residents, or do these five things on this list and then we're all happy. What we're really looking for is Target to live up to who they say they are, be a good corporate steward."
Target officials weren't available to go on camera, but company spokeswoman Molly Snyder released a statement saying:
"Target seeks to be a strong, contributing member in every community in which we do business. This philosophy applies to our stores, distribution centers and our headquarters locations, which includes Target's Northern Campus in Brooklyn Park. We have had continued conversations with members of the Brooklyn Park community as we seek to understand their questions and continue to build on our strong commitment to the Brooklyn Park community."
Construction on the Target Northern Campus is expected to be finished in late 2014.
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